Free The impact of fatigue risk management principles and practices on performance of aviation industry member in Dubai airport Dissertation Example
THE IMPACT OF FATIGUE RISK MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES ON PERFORMANCE OF AVIATION INDUSTRY MEMBER IN DUBAI AIRPORT
The successful completion of this project was a result of assistance, hard work, and guidance from not only my school instructors but also my peers. I highly appreciate their efforts and sacrifices. Importantly, I wish to demonstrate my gratitude to the Almighty God who gave me the strength, and knowledge to complete the project as I had planned. I also express my gratitude to my loving family who gave me overwhelming support throughout the entire project. It is because of the constant encouragement and emotional support that I was able to tackle the hardest parts of the project smoothly.
I sincerely express my gratitude to my project chairperson (name) and my fellow students for always being available for consultation and being willing to share knowledge. It was through their cooperation that I completed my project. Notably, I appreciate the school’s effort of providing learning and research materials that were essential for my project.
TOC o “1-3” h z u ABSTRACT PAGEREF _Toc517993802 h 41.0 Chapter 1: Introduction PAGEREF _Toc517993803 h 51.1 Background of Study PAGEREF _Toc517993804 h 51.2 The Objectives of the Study PAGEREF _Toc517993805 h 71.3 The Project Outcomes PAGEREF _Toc517993806 h 71.4 Purpose and Rationale of the Study PAGEREF _Toc517993807 h 81.5 Key Questions PAGEREF _Toc517993808 h 92.0Chapter 2: Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc517993809 h 102.1.4 Temperature PAGEREF _Toc517993810 h 122.1.5 Noise PAGEREF _Toc517993811 h 133.0 Chapter 3: Methodology PAGEREF _Toc517993812 h 203.1 Research Design PAGEREF _Toc517993813 h 203.2 Research Tools PAGEREF _Toc517993814 h 203.2.1 Interviews PAGEREF _Toc517993815 h 203.2.2 Observation PAGEREF _Toc517993816 h 223.2.3 Questionnaires PAGEREF _Toc517993817 h 243.3 Other Methods of Research PAGEREF _Toc517993818 h 244.0 CHAPTER: Findings PAGEREF _Toc517993819 h 264.1 Biographical Information PAGEREF _Toc517993820 h 264.1.1 Sex PAGEREF _Toc517993821 h 264.1.2 Years of Experience PAGEREF _Toc517993822 h 274.2.3 Department of Affiliation PAGEREF _Toc517993823 h 274.2 Nature of Tasks in Dubai Aviation and their Impact on an Employee PAGEREF _Toc517993824 h 284.3 Existing Fatigue Risk Management Principles and Practices in Dubai Aviation and their Impact on Employee Performance PAGEREF _Toc517993825 h 304.4.1 Number of Rest Hours PAGEREF _Toc517993826 h 324.4.2 Workload and overtime PAGEREF _Toc517993827 h 334.4.3 Night flying PAGEREF _Toc517993828 h 334.4.4 Support from supervisors PAGEREF _Toc517993829 h 354.4.5 Welfare and Capacity Building PAGEREF _Toc517993830 h 385.0 Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc517993831 h 405.1 Nature of Tasks in the Aviation Industry PAGEREF _Toc517993832 h 405.2 Existing Fatigue Risk Mitigation Approaches and their Impact on Employee Performance PAGEREF _Toc517993833 h 415.3 Recommendation of the most Effective Fatigue Risk Management Practice and Principles PAGEREF _Toc517993834 h 42Reference List PAGEREF _Toc517993835 h 45
ABSTRACTThe aviation industry involves various unique roles that require unique personal attributes to cope. Some of these roles emerge from the nature of work in the industry that involves travelling across the world or handling clients from various backgrounds. As a result, airline employees are vulnerable to workplace fatigue resulting from burnout or efforts to cope with the unique working conditions. For example, ground or airport officials are exposed to such effects as noise, which negatively affects their concentration levels. In addition, aircraft attendants are also exposed to various climatic conditions as they move from one region to another. Such tasks also involve irregular work schedules or working in shifts that may disrupt a person’s normal activities including sleep patterns. Hence, it is essential for airlines to implement fatigue management practices to mitigate negative impacts of work schedules on employees. The current study employs a survey methodology to investigate the impact of fatigue mitigation strategies on work performance among employees in an airline company in Dubai. The findings reveal such factors as non-traditional working hours, varying lighting, nosy environments, irregular work schedules, and changing climatic conditions as typical for the aviation industry. As a result, the airlines have introduced such mitigation strategies as work shifts, work breaks, and physical exercise. The respondents attest that physical exercise is the most effective approach that can significantly improve one’s overall health contributing to improved task outcome.
1.0 Chapter 1: Introduction1.1 Background of StudyOne significant risk that the aviation management personnel in Dubai experience is fatigue. Fatigue is a ubiquitous aspect of daily life which is expected to occur on many occasions. For average people, fatigue is a minor issue which can be resolved quickly by taking a break from its causes. However, if an individual is engaged in activities which have safety as a high priority requirement, such as piloting an aircraft in our case, the results of fatigue can be very devastating. If fatigue is discussed in other occupations, then it is a non-issue. However, it is a crucial issue for industries like aviation that have to guarantee the security of the passengers and other flight operations.
Fatigue is a very significant risk that has to be tackled. The aviation employees, from the security personnel, pilots, cabin crews, and the flight attendees face fatigue as a result of many causes including long working hours, the unregulated working or duty times, frequent night shifts and the possibility of constant disruptions when sleeping. Pilot fatigue, in particular, can be very disastrous as they have to fly the planes. Studies show that fatigued pilots are more prone to making significant errors at critical moments. It is usually at the end of long flights that pilots should be fully alert to make vital decisions and take any evasive actions if there is a need to ensure a safe landing. The pilots have the duty to safely guarantee the passengers that they will arrive at their destinations without any risks. The lives of the passengers depend directly on the pilots. The flight attendants have to be with passengers at all times and ascertain the comfort of passengers. Dubai aviation industry has the engineers who at all times have to look at the planes and other machinery within the aviation industry to guarantee the safety of all employees. In particular, the aircraft have to be checked by the engineers before take off. On landing, they are monitored by the engineers to affirm that they are in safe working conditions.
Every personnel within the industry has a role to play, which if done poorly can affect the safety of many people. The security personnel, for example, have to guarantee the safety of every person in the airport and ensure illegal products and terrorists do not pass through. As such, the manner in which they have shifted between them and the hours required to work must be carefully managed to ensure the levels of fatigue are managed. In as much as we tend to undermine the impact of fatigue, those who have less sleep tend to work slowly and are more prone to make simple mistakes.
This research outlines the effect of Dubai Airport’s fatigue risk management principles and practices on the performance of aviation employees in Dubai airports. The paper goes ahead to narrow the impact on the ground handling and security employees. The paper looks at the general practices in the Dubai aviation industry and the emerging trends and rules that have been adopted by the industry players to achieve safety of the airports. The various fatigue management practices are discussed in detail. Lastly, the objectives of the research are presented together with any recommendations that can be adopted by the airports to enhance the management of fatigue among the staff members. There is a comparison of two airports in Dubai to determine how both airports try to manage the various inefficacies to achieve better service delivery.
1.2 The Objectives of the StudyThe study is grounded on the following objectives
To identify the nature of tasks that staff in the Dubai aviation perform and their impacts on an employee.
To uncover the existing fatigue risk management principles and practice in Dubai aviation and their impact on employee performance.
To determine the most effective risk management principles and practices for employees in Dubai aviation.
1.3 The Project OutcomesThe study offers an analysis and explanation of the nature of tasks of employees in the aviation industry
The project illustrates the existing fatigue risk management practices in the aviation industry and their impact on the employees’ task performance.
Based on the above outcome, the project will also highlight the most effective fatigue risk management practice based on the nature of tasks that employees in Dubai aviation perform.
1.4 Purpose and Rationale of the Study
As the author of this proposal, I am currently a student of aviation safety and presently working at Dubai International Airport. I have the career goal of developing and improving the level of safety in the aviation sector. After thorough research, I realized that the aviation industry involves various activities that may significantly affect a person’s both physical and psychological well-being, which may lead to the risk of fatigue. Besides personal interactions with customers, some of the employees such as flight engineers also operate machinery that requires high levels of alertness, hence need physical and mental well-being. Employee’s well-being is also essential given that minor errors may lead to severe problems including the loss of lives both at the airport and on air. As a result, every person in the aviation industry has to be alert to guarantee the safety of many, and this is why my research will also narrow down to the ground handlers and the security staff whose levels of fatigue if high can result in severe accidents and errors in operation. Therefore, I sought out to identify the major causes of fatigue among pilots, as well as what can be done to address the issue adequately.
While working on this research, I gained new knowledge and valuable insight into many unique aspects and problems that are especially applicable to the aviation sector. At the same time, the research project is essential because it enables me to gain valuable insight in a business that has evolved, and is still changing rapidly over the last two decades, both in positive and negative ways.
1.5 Key QuestionsThe primary research questions in this research are formulated to determine whether there is a direct need or certain possibilities for improvement in all aspects of the aviation sector, from legislation to open practices. There is a particular interest in improving both the wellbeing and safety of the crew, passengers and other relevant stakeholders in the aviation industry. Consequently, the research study answers the following questions:
What is the nature of tasks that staff in the Dubai aviation performs?
What is the impact of these tasks on an employee?
What are the existing fatigue risk management principles and practices in Dubai aviation, and their impact on employee performance?
What are the most effective risk management principles and practices for employees in Dubai aviation?
Chapter 2: Literature ReviewThis section of the project reviewed the current literature on the nature of tasks that aviation workers perform and the various ways through which they cause fatigue. The review also focused on analyzing the impact of fatigue on the performance of employees working in the aviation industry. The workers of different researchers such as Bosley, Miller, and Watson (2005), Hobbs and Hiles (2011), Hopkins (2016), and Elizabeth, Greggory, Johnson, and Rosekind (1999) are analyzed to determine the causes of fatigue among aviation workers and how the problem impacts on their work performance. Furthermore, the purpose of the literature review was to establish gaps in the studies to guide future research. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter was to address the critical research questions.
2.1 Nature of Tasks that Staff in the Dubai Aviation Performs and Impact on an Employee
The Australian Government Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) published a report in May 2012 that provided a detailed guideline on the fatigue management strategies for aviation workers. The report revealed lack of sufficient sleep as a leading cause of fatigue. Bosley, Miller, and Watson (2005, 3) also identified sleep as the primary cause of low work productivity among aviation workers. Notably, employees working during non-traditional working hours also experience also fatigue which impacts negatively on their performance. The literature review, therefore, focused on understating the impact of fatigue, sleep, and non-traditional working hours on a worker in the aviation industry.
2.1.1 Non-traditional Working Hours
The CASA (2012, 12) report indicates that many employees work in shifts which can be either during the day or night. While this practice maximizes productivity and boosts morale among workers, some of the turns can be harmful to the health of employees. Case in point, night shifts have the potential to expose aviation workers to ill health especially in instances where an individual works for an extended duration. Notably, individuals working in shifts are also likely to be fatigued or sick since they disrupt the circadian rhythms which are responsible for sleep regulation.
Aviation employees working during the non-traditional hours, therefore, experience challenges such as reduced attention, low concentration, carelessness, decreased vigilance, sudden mood changes, muddled thinking, slowed comprehension and learning, and faulty memory, hallucinations, and slow responsiveness (CASA 2012, 14). However, each employee is unique and, thus, they may thrive differently in the same working environment.
Bosley, Miller, and Watson (2005, 2) define fatigue as a cumulative process of discomfort due to lack of sleep, proper nutrition, mental workload, and adequate rest. In the aviation industry, employees experience fatigue due to the nature of their work. For instance, AUCASA (2012, 12) identifies non-traditional shift hours as a cause of fatigue. Employees whose jobs entail traveling for long hours also experience fatigue (Bor and Hubbard 2006, 48). Additionally, due to the nature of work of some of the employees such as pilot, depression is a common mental health problem that causes fatigue. Such aviation workers strive to perform exceptionally well to avert any accidents. They also have to travel frequently and for long hours which can easily cause depression (Bor and Hubbard 2006, 112). Importantly, research reveals that aviation employees working in certain environments such as where the temperature, light, and noise levels are unfavorable are susceptible to fatigue (Bosley, Miller, and Watson 2005, 3-5). These factors, therefore, impact negatively on employees in numerous ways.
The performance of a fatigued worker decreased gradually for various reasons. First, a fatigued person is likely to make an impaired judgment, hence, limiting his or her ability to communicate correctly, react promptly to an emergency, and work productively (AUCASA 2012, 22). Therefore, workplace accidents and technical errors are likely to occur.
Sleep is mandatory for every working adult. The recommended hours of sleep for adults are 7 to 8 hours a day. However, not all aviation workers get enough sleep due to the nature of their work. Some workers are expected to work during the night for a specified duration while others work during the day. Other workers such as pilots and flight attendants have to be fully awake during flights. They may, therefore, lack a fixed schedule that may allow them to have an adequate sleep. The AUCASA (2012, 26) report shows that sleep deprivation may result in insomnia and unwanted sleepiness during working hours. Bosley, Miller, and Watson (2005, 3) also argue that sleep deprivation causes increasing levels of drowsiness, confusion, fatigue, stress, tension, fatigue, and mental exhaustion. Sleep deprivation lowers aviation worker’s productivity.
2.1.4 TemperatureAirline workers operate in varying temperatures during their schedules. For example, night shift workers operate in cold weather. Research reveals that cold temperatures impact reaction time and the quality of task performance in complex tasks. Temperatures at 2-4 o C have been linked to problems with mental analysis, processing and memory (Bosley, Miller, and Watson, p. 4). In most cases, employees working during the night face challenges accomplishing simple tasks due to excessive cold. Some individuals experience challenges moving from one point to another due to low temperature. Therefore, the performance of most employees reduces drastically. Pilots may also experience navigation challenges especially in instances where the temperature changes unexpectedly. Such environmental factors can easily cause visual impairment resulting accidents or cause delays in flights. In addition, cold weather can also decrease strength and manual dexterity especially in the hands. Lower body temperatures lead to brain impairments. Changing climatic conditions especially for flight attendants can also affect performance outcome (Bosley, Miller, and Watson, p. 4). For example, the need to adjust to a new place’s temperature may require time affecting an employees’ working schedule.
2.1.5 NoiseAviation employees that work close to aircrafts experience noise disturbances from aircrafts. Noise can affect work output in various ways resulting to the possibility of increased accidents. In other words, noise affects the completion of both complex and simple tasks leading to increased likelihood of errors and variability. Psychologically, noise creates frustration, annoyance, fatigue, workload, and anxiety. Physically, exposure to noise can increase heart rate, hearing loss, headaches, blood pressure, tiredness, and other physical health problems (Bosley, Miller, and Watson, p. 4). Moreover, increased noise levels decreases visual accommodation and convergence leading to possible errors. Research shows that exposure to noise increases blood pressure by 80% as a result of continued peripheral vasoconstriction. Noise decreases stress management leading to lowered feelings and moods about one’s working environment. Individuals working in the aviation industry may develop long term or short term health complications as a result of noise disturbance which causes fatigue. Evidently, a fatigued person lacks the capabilities of making good judgment and communicating effectively. Thus, employee’s work output may decrease over time due to the impact of noise on their physiological and psychological well-being.
2. 2 Global Fatigue Mitigation Strategies in the Aviation Industry
Research has been done to investigate fatigue in aviation. Some of the studies have been done to assess implications of exhaustion on the work of pilots, and the factors behind the constant feeling of fatigue in most pilots. Hobbs and Hiles (2011, 8-10) explain that over the past recent years the aviation industry has adopted some risk management practices that have replaced the older hours of services. He argues that the International Civil Aviation Organization has in recent years been on the forefront in adopting the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS). The aviation industry today has the continuous monitoring system that monitors all errors at the airport even in the security handling system that can be attributed to fatigue. Some of the vital principles adopted by the system include using the company policies, the system of analysis and risk assessment and the procedures for incident reporting. Also, it applies the principle of cooperation between the employer and the employees to come up with solutions for the fatigue issues like outlining its causes and how they can be remedied.
Lastly, another primary principle is the fact that it recognizes that one cannot achieve zero fatigue in the industry but can dedicate efforts to ensure that fatigue in the aviation industry is as low as possible to minimize any likelihood of errors. To achieve the above principles then a high degree of significance is placed on the need for a sound relationship between the employer and the employees. The workplace factors such as the number of working hours, the granted break periods and the levels of staffing are factors that have to be managed effectively. The employees are affected by personal factors such as family commitments and being active in other second jobs. It is essential that they have sufficient rest period before going to work. IFA in its official statement states that the duty to develop and utilize the duty and the rest duration of the staff rests with both employers and employees. The staff has the responsibility of ensuring optimum utilization of the available rest duration. It is their duty to ensure proper planning and usage of the rest hours or days, so as to hinder or significantly reduce the occurrence of fatigue (Hobbes and Hiles, 2011, 8). Fatigue risk management, therefore, has three primary objectives. Its primary aim is to reduce fatigue in the aviation industry. Employees in the Dubai airports thus have to undergo and follow the various risk management practices so as ensure they have low levels of fatigue. Also, the employees have to look at the fatigue-related errors and always capture them to know if they are fatigued.
One of the practices adopted according to Hobbs that can significantly reduce the errors is the implementation of work breaks at the workplace. Another objective is to reduce the impact of a mistake (Hobbes and Hiles, 2011, 12-15). For instance, in the case of security handlers in the Dubai airports, they work in such a way that one security officer is not allowed to perform one task over and over again. The officer is reassigned to a different duty thus reducing the ultimate impact of error that he might have committed by sticking to one task. According to documents leaked in 2016, members of the Dubai airports complain of how they are overworked all above the recommended working hours. This lack of fatigue maintenance by the airports shows how the passengers have been exposed to risk. The Dubai airports, which were heavily blamed for the crash of 2016 that killed 62 passengers, have been accused of the dangerous schedules (Hopkins, 2016, N.p). The lack of fatigue maintenance from the ground handling personnel and the security personnel resulted in the adverse safety reports of the airports. According to the report, the airports had a bomb scare when the plane was at 30.,000ft showing just how much the security personnel has been overwhelmed by poor work schedules hence the errors in the detection of materials that can be a bomb like (Hopkins, 2016, N.p). The degree of the airports pilot fatigue was highlighted in the incident where one of the pilots had forgotten to disengage a planes handbrake when taking off. An example of airport fatigue among the pilots and the flight crew is when they commonly have difficulties when speaking and today a clear example of fatigue among them is when they have a slurred speech. Some of the crashes in the Emirates are alleged to have been caused by fatigue. Airport engineers, for example, have been accused of having a decreasing attention span all thanks to fatigue. The cases where pilots miss the flight path or miss the runways by significant feet’s is a clear example of the effects of fatigue due to lack of sleep or long hours of work.
2.3 Causes of Fatigue among Aviation Employee and how it Leads to Errors
Elizabeth et al. (1999) argue that scheduling practices that have been adopted by the airport’s industries contribute significantly to the case of fatigue in the regular working hours. According to them, airports today have unique demands that drive the employees to exhaustion. The scheduling practices are most common in all airports. They include having duties on an overnight level where resting time is insufficient and a combination of schedules basing on FAR. While the rest time for the flight crew is traditionally 8 hours, the rescheduling of the working hours reduces the resting time to between six to seven hours which is wrong (Elizarbeth et al., 1999, 8-9). The pilots, for example, can have a reduced resting time where before flights they are required to go for the flights earlier than anticipated where upon reaching their destination they can have more extended hours of rest which is not recommended (NBAA, 2013, 2). In the Emirates, for example, the security personnel slip in their typical routine actions due to fatigue. Some employees like ground personnel according to studies show signs of short temperament, which makes them vulnerable to tiny pilot mistakes. According to a report by the NBAA, the fatigue can result to aerial safety concerns. According to them, many accidents have occurred due to fatigue-related issues if adequately managed then there is less risk.
NBAA tries to look at the basics of sleep and the psychological impact that it has on all employees in the airports. Caldwell et al. (2009, 1-3) take a position on the current fatigue guidelines and how they have been implemented. A study by Caldwell et al. (2009, 18) looks at the current fatigue practices and if truly most airports are living up to expectation. According to him, the agencies in charge of monitoring fatigue lack the ability to influence change, which is why he has come up with a list of recommendations on how fatigue can be handled (Caldwell et al., 2009, 18). He outlines what each department can do to ensure safety. He looks at it from the ground handler’s angle to the security personnel and the pilot. Each should have unique handling capabilities to ensure the cases of fatigue have been reduced. He stresses that although each airport is managed differently, they have to follow all the guidelines of fatigue risk management and the practices enshrined according to the internationally set standards. He says that each category of aviation procedure or activity has unique complexities. Examples of the complexities are multiple time zones, long duty hours, working during a circadian nadir, and sleeping during the extreme circadian times. Also, each aviation company has its specific needs that should be addressed by the staff (Caldwell et al., 2009, 4).
2.4 Practices Implemented to Mitigate Fatigue
The practices that have been adopted in commonality in almost all airports allow for the rescheduling of shifts backward and forwards. But in doing this, the employees have to be given enough time to rest. The airports enable the employees to operate in shifts at all times. However, according to the guideline set, employees are not supposed to have a scheduled shift of more than 12 hours. The maximum of 12 hours is intended to allow the employees to have maximum time to rest to avoid fatigue. Another guideline set forth says that in the event of an extension of a shift, then the shift period should not be more than 16 hours. Also, another principle involves the scheduled working hours in a week. The total amount of hours required to work should not be more than 76 hours. Additionally, if one is expected to work for 12 hours in a night shift, then such schedules should not be more than 4 in a week. The rescheduling of shifts is done basing on the circadian body clock (Hobbes and Hiles, 2011, 38).
The shifts patterns thus result in going for shifts earlier or late than before. The amount of workload that each employee is required to do has a direct impact on his overall performance. A high workload causes fatigue hence influencing employees’ performance (ICAO, 2016, 56-58). According to Choon, security personnel in the airports are exposed to a high level of fatigue due to the long hours of work (12 hours). According to him, this has gone unnoticed to many and for a very long time. Studies show that the fatigue sets in after four days stretch of work which takes a toll on most of these officers. He goes ahead to recommend that the airport’s management has to recognize that such employees to are faced with fatigue which affects their work performance (Choon, 2017, N.p). According to (ACRP, 2001, 2) little significance has been given to the ground workers who are affected by accidents due to fatigue. There are no laws written to guide them from excessive workload and long working hours. Little education is given to such employees on the significance of rest. According to studies, airport engineers are primarily affected by fatigue due to the circadian fatigue. Airport engineers thus have an increased reaction time in their daily duties. Airport engineers, therefore, tend to have a reduced mood and mostly lose memory during their regular work period.
The aviation sector offers the safest means of transportation globally. However, the industry stakeholders must be proactive in developing effective safety measures to hinder accidents, which may cause injuries, infections, and even fatalities. Fatigue is a hazard in the aviation sector as it inhibits the professional from working optimally. Sufficient concentration and adherence to the rules and regulations in the aviation industry is critical in enhancing the outcomes of the travelers and staff of the air travel corporations. However, fatigue limits the ability of the team to adhere to the set aviation guidelines. Even though the aviation sector operates throughout, it is essential to manage the workload of the team and to encourage them to have sufficient rest and sleep. The pilots and the crew whose work involve the maintenance of the aircraft should work for a few hours daily. The extra time must be used for body relaxation activities like light physical exercise and sleep. Also, the staff should have several days in a week away from work, to enable to them address their issues and also rest effectively before resuming the flight operations. All airlines should adopt the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) as it enables the management to identify the fatigue risk factors and choose the appropriate solution. Fatigue management is vital in improving the satisfaction and motivation levels of the airline staff and also enhancing the overall safety in the Dubai aviation sector.
3.0 Chapter 3: Methodology3.1 Research DesignThe data for this research was collected through survey research design. The methodology allows the researcher to explore the various causes of phenomena through a comprehensive inquiry enabled by research tools including interviews, questionnaires, and observation methods. This research design was used to deduce the causes of fatigue and existing practices of fatigue management among aircraft crew in Dubai aviation to obtain critical insights into the possible solutions to this problem. Through such methodologies as observation and interviews, this methodology allows the researcher to explore various aspects of a problem for a comprehensive assessment of its causes. Survey research is widely used in social research to gain insight into the causes of problems and allows the researcher to discover hidden aspects that are not deducible from casual observation. Consequently, a researcher has the flexibility to use a variety of research tools to gain insight into a given problem. Several tools were, therefore, applied through the application of this research design as follows.
3.2 Research Tools3.2.1 InterviewsThe interview is a data collection tool that enables the researcher to understand the extent of a problem from the perspective of the respondent. Through the interview, the researcher can obtain a deeper understanding of the problem and discover how the various factors correlate regarding a given problem. Therefore, the researcher held interviews with the various staff members in the aviation industry to determine the extent of fatigue that they undergo as they work (Hughes and Sharrock, 2016). Additionally, interviews were also aimed at identifying the possible errors that were likely to arise when the employees in the aviation sector were fatigued. Data concerning the existing fatigue mitigation practices was also gathered through interview sessions. Specific focus was directed to ground handlers and pilots because of the sensitivity of their work.
The interviews were carried out by the researcher with permission from the airport authorities and targeted several key decision makers to enable the researcher to deduce whether they understand the causes of fatigue and their consequences. Interviews do not require technical skills to administer, and once the researcher has understood the nature of the information he needs to obtain, he or she can interview at the convenience of the respondent (Taylor, Bogdan, and DeVault, 2015, 55). Furthermore, the interviews allowed the clarification of questions and facts with the respondents to ensure that the required information is obtained from the process (Pi, Chiu, and Lin, 2016, 3). The management team at the Dubai industry was also interviewed regarding their allocation of duties to the aviation staff and to know whether they understand the dynamics of stress on an individual. The interview with the management also delved into the staff fatigue management processes that the aviation companies have put in place.
Ground staffs play a critical role in the safety of the aviation industry (Daramola, 2014, 39-50). Airports are busy places, and passengers require a variety of services either before boarding or after landing as they wait for the connecting flight. In this regard, ground staffs like security personnel and cleaners contribute significantly to the general safety and comfort of the workers. The information obtained from the ground staff revealed aspects of workload as recommended by the industry and whether they engage in other jobs after work. Furthermore, the interviews revealed their daily routine from the time they report until they sign out of work. Through interviews with the ground staff, it was apparent that the work schedules and terms of employment for ground staff could contribute to possible errors arising from stress in the industry. The number of employees and the length of their work hours also inform their levels of resilience to fatigue factors at work.
Through the interview method, it was easy to interact closely with the respondents to obtain more in-depth information. Additionally, it was possible to clarify the issues that were not clear to the respondents. The respondents were open to providing information and were also comprehensive. However, there was a need for preparation for the interviews and not all enumerators bore the requisite skills to engage the respondents in an interview. The respondents felt that data collection through interviews took a lot of time and it was difficult to secure an appointment with them. Not much data was collected using this research tool due to the rigor of the interview process. Hence, only select opinion leaders and department heads participated in interviews.
3.2.2 ObservationSignificant data was collected through observation that enabled an understanding of the behaviors of workers at work and after duty hours. According to the scientific principle one, the body needs a minimal number of sleep hours to enhance productivity and relaxation. Lack of sleep, therefore, results in underperformance and could lead to accidents and other mistakes in the line of duty (Sue-Chan and Fisher, 2018, 24). Hence, workers are recommended to spend a third of their day sleeping.
The observation was, therefore, done about the number of hours that employees were expected to be out of duty. The number of hours allocated for a break should, therefore, be cognizant of the fact that only a portion of those hours would be used in sleep (Robinson, 2014, 25). A lack of sufficient sleep would heighten fatigue and affect the performance of the worker. The number of workers per shift was examined to decipher whether the organization was keen on apportioning only sufficient workload to the staff. Staff who handled more duties than their capacity were more susceptible to fatigue than their counterparts who enjoy normal or less than their capacities of workload. Observation of the working conditions was done to establish whether the organization provided the equipment required for workers to work at optimum levels. The researcher observed the behavior of flight attendants on board to determine whether they had the needed equipment for their safety and comfort while at work. In addition, the research entailed the observation of the support structures accorded to the employees (Hosking, 2016, 50). Among the critical structures are supervisors who were available to listen to the concerns of the workers. The general administration is also expected to offer off days especially for intensive duties performed by pilots and flight attendants on long flights (Chen and Huang, 2018, 178). Data were collected regarding the length of breaks taken by flight attendants and pilots between one long flight and another.
Data were collected on the length of time taken between breaks for staff on shifts. Flight regulation standards outline that employees should not work for a period exceeding 12 hours. Although the supervisors have the prerogative to allocate extra working hours for staff during peak working hours, the aggregate number of hours should not exceed more than 16 hours. In this regard, the research engaged in observation of how the flight companies in Dubai adhered to the employment guidelines in the industry. Observations were also done regarding the number of hours that staff worked in the night. It is recommended that if employees are required to work in the night for up to 12 hours, such shifts should not exceed four weeks (Bunting, 2016, 22). These measures are established to make sure that staff members do not suffer fatigue. Researchers were also stationed at the airport to find out how often the security officers and other employees engaged in routine activities took part in similar activities. Airport conventions propose that the employees involved in repetitive tasks must be shifted to other roles on a routine basis to prevent monotony and boredom that are precursors to fatigue.
3.2.3 QuestionnairesThe research used the questionnaire tool to obtain more information. Questionnaires enable wide distribution and are ideal for getting quick information over a period. Additionally, questionnaires are used to obtain confidential details about workers and the management. In this connection, questionnaires were distributed to a selected number of employees ranging from flight attendants, ground staff, and several casual workers to determine their terms of service. The questionnaires were targeted towards workers engaged in routine but engaging jobs including pilots, flight attendants, and security workers. Anonymity was obtained by excluding any identifying details, but only responses to the questions. Consequently, vast amounts of information that is not available to casual observers; such information is critical to assessing the state of work in organizations. Junior workers are often under pressure to perform, and in this regard, they may be subjected to unacceptable work conditions that heighten their state of stress and fatigue. The information obtained from the questionnaires was compared to the industry standards.
3.3 Other Methods of ResearchThe secondary data including data on flight schedules and manifests also provided insights on the nature of workload that flight attendants and pilots were allocated. Details in flight records indicated the flight departure and arrival and stated the duration of time that the staffs were on break. It was expected that the management would enable sufficient rest to these officers to minimize their levels of fatigue. The records provided the names of the officers in charge and for this reason; it was easy for the researcher to track the work routine if individual pilots and flight attendants.
4.0 CHAPTER: FindingsThe findings of the research revealed several gaps in the implementation of work guidelines based on the flying conventions. The following information was gathered from the data collected through the various tools of research. Out of a random sample of 30 respondents, only 25 were valid as the other 5 respondents did not complete the questionnaire. Therefore, the analysis in this section is based on the 25 valid responses from the respondents.
4.1 Biographical InformationThe first section of the questionnaire gathered the respondents’ biographical data attributes including sex, department of affiliation, and years of experience in the organization. This segment summarizes the findings in the section.
4.1.1 SexOut of the 25 respondents at Mediterranean Aviation Services Corporation, 17 were female while 8 were female as shown in the chart below.
Figure 1: Sex of respondents
4.1.2 Years of ExperienceThe question required the respondents to indicate their years of experience at the industry. Thus out of the 25 respondents, 5 indicated that they have worked in the company for 0 to 3 years, 9 had worked for 3 to 6 years, 8 had worked for 6-10 years and only 3 had worked for 10 years and above. Therefore, a majority, 36% of the respondents had worked at Mediterranean Aviation Services for 3 to 9 years as shown in the figure below.
Respondents’ years of experience at the company
Table 1: Year of experience of respondents
Years of experience Frequency Percentage
0 – 3 years 5 20
3 – 6 years 9 36
6 – 9 years 8 32
10 and above 3 12
Total 25 100
In table 1 above, it is evident that only 12% of the respondents indicated that they have worked in the company for over 10 years. The findings are valid given that the company is quite new as it was established in 2005 (Mediterranean Aviation Services, 2018). As a result, it is possible that the older workers have escalated to managerial levels that do not require vigorous activity.
4.2.3 Department of AffiliationThis question required the respondents to indicate their specific departments of affiliation. Among the departments stated include:
Airline administrative support
Airport/ ground attendant
Crew Schedule Coordinator
Section B of the questionnaire delved into the specific research objectives that guided the study. The objectives included;
To identify the nature of tasks staff in the Dubai aviation perform, and their impacts on an employee
To uncover the existing fatigue risk management principles and practice in Dubai aviation and their impact on employee performance
To determine the most effective risk management principles and practices for employees in Dubai aviation
Therefore, the findings are discussed as per each study objective.
4.2 Nature of Tasks in Dubai Aviation and their Impact on an EmployeeIn this segment the questionnaire offered a true or false option on a list of factors that makes their job unique based on the literature review. The tasks are deemed as the most contributing to industry specific fatigue and they include working during non-traditional hours, varying work environments (climate), noisy environment, and varied lighting. All the respondents agreed that indeed, these tasks are unique to their industry. Moreover, they were also given an opportunity to state other tasks they considered unique from other industries. The findings revealed the following tasks:
Passenger and Cargo Screening for Explosives
Handling Customer Complaints
Reduced Oxygen supply
Low atmospheric pressure
The next question required the respondents to identify the tasks among the listed that they are currently or in the past found difficulty in adjusting. Among the emerging task include screening of passengers and carry-on bags and other luggage for safety purposes. The task is mostly performed by ground officers at the airport. It is evident that security is a critical aspect especially in the aviation industry. Since the 9/11 attacks and the contemporary terrorism cases across the globe, various companies have sought for ways to prevent potential dangers from malicious customers and passengers by introducing regular security checks. Moreover, there is widespread media attention on the security of travelling agencies because they are target agencies by most criminals. The aviation industry appears to be the most vulnerable given its activities that include transporting of passengers from various backgrounds. Therefore, it is essential to screen the passengers and their luggage to detect any possible explosives that could be hidden. The processes always involve several procedures that may leave the workers tired and stressed because. Moreover, the nature of their job states that any possible errors in screening leading to sneaking of terrorists or dangerous weapons may lead to their job termination. Thus, the ground attendants have to ascertain complete security by thorough screening of the passengers and luggage. Hence, these employees require enough time to rest failure to which, they may experience anxieties and work burnouts. Therefore, the findings in this section are valid and relevant as they reflect the reality. In addition, the findings also mirror those in the literature section from the International Transport Workers Federation, 2009, p. 11).
The other tasks that the respondents indicated as the most difficult to adjust with include changing climatic conditions among flight attendants, varying sleeping varying sleeping schedules, and noise. Sleeping schedules vary especially for flight attendants who require travelling from one country to another with varying time differences. Therefore, adjusting to a new country’s time may be difficult affecting their daily activities including sleeping. The industry also involves working in a noisy environment especially at the grounds section. Thus, noise from aircraft taking off can be psychologically disturbing and difficult to adjust especially for a new employee.
In relation to job performance, the respondents indicated such factors as lack of concentration in the case of noisy environment, health impacts such as headache and fatigue in the case of irregular sleep patterns. Varying climatic conditions also emerged as contributing to health issues resulting in sick day off. Passenger screening led to anxieties due to security fears. One respondent indicated that some passengers were aggressive and uncooperative during screening which may lead to misunderstanding.
4.3 Existing Fatigue Risk Management Principles and Practices in Dubai Aviation and their Impact on Employee PerformanceThis section gathered the respondents’ data in relation to study objective three, which required information on the existing fatigue risk management principles and practices at the industry. Therefore, the respondents were to indicate the efforts put in place by their respective departments to mitigate the effects described in the previous section.
Concerning working non-traditional hours, the respondents indicated that solutions employed include introduction of optional shift work so that employees would select the most suitable time. Shift schedules have also been introduced at Mediterranean Aviation to allow workers to obtain essential services such as health care. Therefore, the workers work in irregular shifts, morning shifts, afternoon shifts, split shifts, and evening shifts. Importantly, the respondents indicated that the shifts did not solve the problem as they significantly affected their sleep patterns, social life, family, and even health because they motivated workers to work overtime due to compensation. As a result, the approach has not been essential as employees still identify negative effects of sleep deprivation of overworking through reduced attention and concentration, decreased vigilance and alertness, mood changes, and other negative psychological outcomes including slow perception and hallucinations.
Other approaches identified on this section include the introduction of work breaks where the employees are allowed one to two hours of break to engage in leisure activities. The respondents also indicated that the organization has introduced mandatory work out sessions to help to allow employees exercise to enhance fitness. In the next question that required the employees to specify the impact of the strategies on their job performance, a majority of the respondents indicated that exercise and work breaks worked best for them as they facilitated alertness and improved mental activity. Therefore, based on the questionnaire, it is evident that exercise and work breaks are the most recommendable fatigue management approaches as they have positive impact of employees work performance.
4.4 Secondary Data Findings
The research involved additional secondary research on the organization’s other supportive details such as working schedules. The findings are as follows.
4.4.1 Number of Rest HoursThe research revealed that the company complied with the regulations on flight hours. In this connection, they offered their employees the required rest hours after long flights. However, there were discrepancies in some departments as number of hours that the supervisors allowed their staff to work was more than the required. For every 12 hours of nighttime flights, there was a slight deviation across the board which compromised the rest requirements for the flight workers.
Despite the stellar performance of mist flights on this parameter, half of the flights recorded irregular rest hours, and it was observed that some pilots worked for over six days of continuous nighttime flight against the aviation industry requirements. Statistics from the flight manifests and other records revealed that some pilots were overworked and had to work for several hours. The explanation for extraordinary flight hours was attributed to the vast experience of some pilots and flight attendants, and sometimes they felt that they had built sufficient resiliencies to manage long hours of work. The remuneration system also encouraged pilots and flight attendants to work for more extended hours than expected. The staffs were remunerated by the number of hours taken, and this was an incentive for them to take up more flight hours. It was also observed that the high level of industry competition led to understaffing which led to overloading of the lean staff that the airline had. An industry overview revealed that the bigger airlines had greater responsibility to maintain standards due to evaluation mechanisms that rated the quality of their services. Hence, these airlines were more motivated by the reputation they have in the market, and consequently, they ensure that they meet all the requirements of the industry towards staff rest hours to beat the market competition. The smaller airlines, on the other hand including the one under investigation targets smaller clients and do not attract the best staff in the market. For this reason, they offer lower salaries to inexperienced flight staff and in turn compromise staff welfare to meet market demands.
4.4.2 Workload and overtimeRegarding workload overtime, there was general compliance at the industry. It was noted that most of the airline staff were paid for flight hours and during the peak hours and the industry experiences a strain on the team. Consequently, there is usually a high turnover of staff during these times and the affected staffs often move to competing companies. The result of this scenario is that airlines are strained and are not able to match up the market demand with the lean staff. Consequently, the available crews are compelled to work for longer hours that are required. Nevertheless, during regular hours, the established flight companies adhered to the regulations in the industry.
4.4.3 Night flyingThe conventions for night flying state that pilots who fly during the night time for up to 12 hours should not do so for more than four days in a week. Night time is considered most taxing for aircraft navigation, and flight officers are most likely to experience fatigue during these times. They are therefore expected to take sufficient rest so as not to compromise their objectivity. Objectivity is critical especially for pilots, and they are expected to have maximum rest and avoid errors in judgment and jeopardize the safety of the passengers.
Table1: Showing percentage of compliance with night time flying regulations at the company in 2017
In the figure above, it is evident that the organization showed discrepancies in regard to night time flying when compared with industry standard regulations. On the breach of the night time flying, the airline flouted the rules and subjected to excessive workload. Some of the factors that led to this situation include the feeling among the experienced pilots that they could manage to navigate their aircraft because of their many hours of flying. The managers did not strictly implement the night time flying procedures because the scenario was of mutual benefit to them. Whereas the airlines were spared from the hustle of hiring new pilots, the concerned pilots enjoyed more pay due to more flight hours. It was also noted that some pilots were not able to fly during the night. Consequently, the few that were available were overstretched and worked for more hours than required. It was also observed that some of the newer were ignorant of the industry standards regarding a limit to hours of night time flying. The managers and supervisors and managers also failed to orient the pilots on their expectations in the industry. The assumption among the supervisors was that the pilots were aware of the rules since it was expected that they had learned about them in flying schools. The managers did not have the motivation to enforce the laws because they expected the pilots to demand for them. The situation was critical among the smaller airlines because they received little attention from the evaluating bodies.
4.4.4 Support from supervisorsThe connection between the supervisors and the airport staff differed from the various cadres of staff. The ground staff had a close relationship with their team, but they worked under extreme pressure. The pressure exerted on the staff can be attributed to the fact that they had close had with them. The nature of the relationship between the airport ground staff and the supervisors and managers raised some concerns because of the lack of guidance. Extreme pressure was one of the triggers of fatigue because this condition is not only a subject of physical exhaustion but arose from the mental state of an individual. The ground staffs were observed to receive orders rather than guidance from their supervisors mostly. However, the supervisors were also under pressure from the airport management because of the need to maintain high levels of efficiency and cleanliness. The company aims to be the leading airport in cleanliness and efficiency, and for this reason, the airport staffs are under immense pressure to perform and match with the best in the industry. Interviews with select airport staff including the cleaners revealed that they worked under extreme pressure to perform. As a result, they had very few hours of rest which further compromised their performance. The interaction with the staff revealed that when staff had personal issues that compromised their performance, they had little attention from their supervisors. In this connection, they felt that the supervisors were moiré interested in the roles they performed at work rather than looking into their readiness to perform.
Table 2: Showing percentage of supervision for various cadres of staff in the aviation industry
The relationship between the supervisors and the flight crew was more relaxed but generally distant. The nature of the work they performed determined the relationship between the flight crew and their supervisors. It was observed that the airport crew had few fixed supervisors and was mostly under temporary leadership for each flight. The flight attendants, for instance, were under the stewardship of the pilot and the head attendant but the relationship only lasted as far as the length of the flight. Consequently, the relationship was more cordial and less stressful as compared to the ground staff. Flight staffs are in constant contact with the passengers and this scenario determined the ties that the flight attendants had with their supervisors. Airport attendants are generally the face of the company and are expected to be relaxed and promote the organization in good light. The lack of closeness with supervisors among the flight staff is responsible for the informal relationship between the crew and the supervisors.
Interviews with some of the pilots revealed that although they did not have close contact with their supervisors, they did not feel so much need for the support. Most of them said that they valued their independence because their work entailed navigating the aircraft and their duties were mostly professional. Their code of conduct was professional and was regulated by pilots associations. In this regard, they were more close to their associations that supervisors in the various companies where they worked. Morover, most of the pilots were on contract employment and did not feel close to the companies. In this regard, they felt that their association with the various aviation companies was based on professional conduct and therefore felt little need for supervisors.
The pilots were also asked whether they get into situations where they needed guidance and their responses were in the affirmative. Regarding places where they sought direction when faced with such dilemmas, they said that they consulted fellow pilots rather that perceived supervisors. This scenario revealed that the relationship between the pilots and their supervisors was amorphous because no hierarchy structure determined the conduct of pilots.
The flight attendants, on the other hand, were considered proper employees of the airline industries. In this regard, they were expected to adhere to both the industry requirements and the guidelines provided by the supervisors. Usually, they obtained instructions from their overall supervisors before they resumed flights. However, the nature of instruction was routine, and most of them felt that they added little value to their performance. Nevertheless, newer flight attendants felt that they needed close instructions and support from their supervisors. Regarding the nature of relationships that flight attendants enjoyed with their supervisors, most of them said they had cordial relations with them. The interaction they had with their supervisors ware mostly focused on their readiness to take flights, especially for long hours. In case any of the crew felt nit ready to fly because of personal matters, the supervisors were very supportive and allowed them to leave.
The support mechanisms between the supervisors and flight attendants, therefore, differed among the various cadres of employees. The nature of concern the supervisors had towards their staff was determined by the sensitivity of the roles they played. Whereas cleaners and security officers had close contact with travelers, they were not considered as significant as the flight crews in determining the image of the company. The interaction between the flight crew and the passengers was considered moiré personal and enduring, and as a result, the flight attendants received more close attention from their supervisors. This scenario resulted in a remarkable reduction in the cases of fatigue among flight attendants as opposed to other workers in the aviation industry.
4.4.5 Welfare and Capacity BuildingThe welfare of the workers was considered a significant determinant of the performance of staff in the aviation industry. The airline industry in Dubai is highly competitive and exerts considerable pressure on team to perform. In the course of time, the staff members face a variety of psychological tensions and are susceptible to varying levels of stress. In this regard, it is expected that the organization will initiate several support programs for the staff. Most of the respondents in the small aviation companies enjoyed close relationships with their staff and had numerous opportunities to socialize. Additionally, the companies often sponsored retreats to holiday destinations to help them wind down especially after high seasons in travel. The ground staff working under small airline companies confessed that they had flexible work hours but had little rest because of the distances they had to travel to their areas of residence and the next shifts. The flight attendants in small airline companies confessed that they enjoyed restful shifts and only experienced strain during the peak seasons. The situation among the large airlines was different, and the management did not have personal relationships with their staff and for this reason, the level of welfare was diminished. Interviews with the flight attendants revealed that they desired more interactive activities in their small departments for relaxation. Furtheremore, they said that the organizations should encourage family days where their family members would be welcome for special celebrations at the company’s expense. Welfare actions that were provided included leave days and health insurance. The flight attendance also enjoyed holiday destinations in selected destinations through the complimentary tickets they received from the company.
5.0 Chapter 5: Discussion and ConclusionChapter four above has highlighted findings from various data collection approaches employed for the study. The major objective that guided data collection includes finding out the impact of fatigue risk management practices on employee job performance in the aviation industry. The specific objectives included;
To identify the nature of tasks staff in the Dubai aviation perform, and their impacts on an employee
To uncover the existing fatigue risk management principles and practice in Dubai aviation and their impact on employee performance
To determine the most effective risk management principles and practices for employees in Dubai aviation.
This section also provided a discussion of the findings as per the study objectives.
5.1 Nature of Tasks in the Aviation IndustryEmployees in the aviation industry perform unique tasks that expose them to various fatigue vulnerabilities. Among the vulnerable characteristics in the nature of work in the industry that emerged from the study include noise, climate change, varying and non-traditional working hours, varying sleep cycles, security screening, and customer service. The nature of these activities exposes workers to both physical and psychological vulnerabilities that contribute to fatigue. The findings reflect those from the literature reviews of Bosley, Miller, and Watson (1999, Chapter 16). In the review, the authors identify some of the unique tasks in the aviation industry that contribute to fatigue, they such aspect as sleep, temperature, noise, and lighting. The authors also identify the impact of varying time zones on body functions as outlined in the literature review section. In particular, the authors state how different time zones “confuse” the body of its normal working processes Bosley, Miller, and Watson (1999, Chapter 16). Hence, such travelling impacts overall body performance leading to decreased work output. Therefore, it is evident that the various working environment predispose workers to vulnerable conditions that contribute to fatigue.
The findings also mirror those from the Australian Government Civil Aviation Authority (2012). In the review, the article outlines the various fatigue management strategies for employees in the Australian industry. In the review, the authors identify the various tasks unique in the industry that contribute to fatigue, and they include working non-traditional hours, irregular sleep patterns, and overwork. Hobbes and Hilles (2011, p.18) also highlight that working hours constitute the most contributing factor to fatigue in the aviation industry. Thus, the findings clearly highlight that one of the most contributing factor to burnout and fatigue is the nature of work that workers perform. The work is characterized by non-conventional work practices that compel workers to adjust their normal life activities such as sleep and social life. Hence, in an effort to solve fatigue related problems, it is evident that approaches aimed at helping employees adjust to these unique tasks can be most impactful.
5.2 Existing Fatigue Risk Mitigation Approaches and their Impact on Employee PerformanceThe second objective involved an investigation of the existing fatigue risk mitigation approaches at the company. Among the emerging approaches include work schedule design to include work shifts, introduction of work breaks, and physical exercise. The findings are also relevant and inferable as they are similar to secondary data. For example, Hobbs and Hiles (2011, p. 8-10) argues that as an approach of mitigating fatigue in the aviation industry, one approach established by the International Civil Aviation Organization is the replacement of older working hours of services. The authors go ahead to add on other strategies implemented in the industry to include the introduction of regular monitoring systems to identify possible errors within the industry. They also highlight that supervisor-supervisee corporation is a critical risk management factors.
Equally, the study findings also reflect those of Hopkins (2016, n.p) that underlines the importance of effective and considerate work schedules on employee performance. NBAA (2013, 2) also identifies the notion of work breaks as a strategy for mitigating fatigue. In particular the article highlights the extension of resting time for pilots through having earlier flights to create time at the end. Introduction of shifts was one of the approaches identified by the respondents. ICAO (2016, 56-58) in the literature review reiterates the introduction of work shifts as fatigue management mechanism. The article argues that in particular, security personnel in the industry are exposed to high levels of fatigue as they work for longer hours. In this section, the respondents particularly reported that the grounds workers whose work involves security screening as the most difficult task in the company. Thus, the introduction of shifts occurs to have no significant impact because the nature of work in some sections such as security screening involves a lot of effort resulting in unavoidable fatigue.
5.3 Recommendation of the most Effective Fatigue Risk Management Practice and PrinciplesBased on the stated fatigue risk management approaches, the respondents affirmed that having time-breaks and involvement in engaging physical activity is the most effective in enhancing adaptability to the strenuous tasks and improved work performance. The findings are also relevant and mirror those of the Australian Government Civil Aviation Authority (p. 68). In the review, the article highlights the health benefits of regular exercise especially in the aviation industry. The authors argue that regular physical activity protects an individual from such illnesses as blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, stroke, back pain, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Importantly, the authors emphasize that shift working conditions increases an individual’s likelihood to health complaints including heart diseases. Therefore, it is evident that exercise has traditionally been linked to positive physical health and psychological well-being. Exercise contributes to improved mood, enhanced self-esteem, improved stress coping, and overall health. It is also evident that most people report feeling better after engaging in exercise.
Sleep has been identified as a major characteristic or negative impact of aircraft crew travelling across the globe. The positive benefits of exercise are myriad among them is improved sleep. Research shows that regular half an hour to two hours of exercise before sleep can significantly improve deep sleep. Therefore, introducing mandatory exercise among aviation crew is one approach especially before sleep can significantly resolve sleep related problems leading to alertness at work hence improved work outcomes. The Australian Civil Aviation Authority article (p. 68) outlines the various benefits of exercise on employees in the aviation industry. Among the identified benefits include:
Increased energy levels
Reduced body fat
Reduced muscle tension
Increase muscle tone and strength
Increased aerobic fitness of the heart and lungs
Strengthened immune system
Consequently, the benefits of sleep are evident from the above discussion. Thus, this study significantly recommends routine exercise among aviation workers as the best approach to mitigate fatigue related problems.
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Appendix I: Questionnaire
Dear respondent, thank you for taking your time to respond to this questionnaire. The study aims at identifying the impact of fatigue risk management principles and practices in your organization on task performance. The findings will help in understanding the most effective strategy in mitigating and managing fatigue risks in the aviation industry. Please fill the questions with your hones opinion. Your feedback will also be purely used for research purposes. Therefore, you are not required to indicate your name or identification detail in any part of the questionnaire.
Kindly indicate your specific department of affiliation
Please tick on the option that best describes your years of experience in the aviation industry
1457325-635003- 6 years
14668501270002009775315595006 – 9 years
10 and above years
Please indicate your sex
Nature of Tasks Performed and Impact
Please indicate true or false on the following sentences describing tasks unique to the aviation industry when compared to other industries
4724400-1905003190875-190500Working non-traditional hours TrueFalse
3200400590550047529755905500Noisy environment TrueFalse
Please state other tasks that are unique to the aviation industry that are not included in 4 above
Which among the tasks above do you (currently or in the past) find difficulty adjusting with?
Based on your options in 6 above, please describe the difficulties experienced in relation to job performance
Existing Fatigue Risk Management Principles and Practices and Impact on Job Performance
Based on your answers above, please indicate any efforts put in place by your department or organization to mitigate the effects described in question 7 above
How have the strategies described in 8 above affected your job performance?
Which of the strategies described in 8 above did you or do you find most helpful?
Thank you so much for your feedback
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